By Edd Straw
Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher has backed Jean Todt's FIA presidential election campaign, citing his achievements in revitalising Ferrari as proof of his abilities.
Todt joined Ferrari during the 1993 season at a time when it had not won a race for almost three years, and laid the foundations for the five drivers' and six constructors' titles won during his time with the team.
"Jean's abilities are beyond question," said Schumacher, who was Todt's star driver during the Ferrari years. "When he joined Ferrari in 1993 he recreated a team which at that time was not fulfilling its true potential.
"Typically, not only could Jean see that potential, but he made it a reality through leadership, loyalty, commitment and teamwork. These have been his defining characteristics whether at Peugeot or at Ferrari and I am sure when he successfully begins a new role as the next president of the FIA he will apply them in the same way, this time for the benefit of the whole sport.
"I can think of no one more capable and more committed to improving our sport than Jean Todt."
Four-time world champion Alain Prost also backed Todt for victory in the election campaign against Ari Vatanen ahead of next month's voting.
"I have known Jean for 30 years and I've always admired him. He has a remarkable interest and knowledge of every aspect of our sport," said Prost.
"He has a rare ability to create teams of people with great talent and he leads them by example. He works hard and expects the same from his team, he focuses on results and not politics and he always looks beyond the horizon and prepares for the future."
Another world champion, 1978 title-winner Mario Andretti, believes that, for all Todt's successes running Ferrari and Peugeot Sport, his greatest achievements could come with the FIA.
"I recognise that Jean now wants to give something back and I genuinely respect him for doing so," said Andretti. "Although he has already achieved so much, I predict that his most celebrated accomplishments are yet to come.
"If, as I hope, Jean is elected as the next President of the FIA, along with Nick Craw as President of the Senate, the real winner will be our sport."
Fellow American racing legends Dan Gurney and Roger Penske also backed Todt, as did Felipe Massa, who is managed by Nicolas Todt, and former Ferrari grand prix winner Gerhard Berger.